Gigantus Successio: Universal Orlando to Debut Harry Potter Theme Park
Mickey’s ears must be burning; Universal has unveiled new details about a brand new section inside its Islands of Adventure theme park. Working closely with gazillionaire author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros., the theme park giant will soon help the fantasy world of Harry Potter come to life.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, set to open in spring 2010, will make Hogwarts and the magical town of Hogsmeade a reality for countless fans around the world. So what can you expect when the park opens? Here are just a few of the many attractions to look forward to:
Zonko’s Joke Shop is the first and last stop for Hogwarts students looking to pull a practical joke or perform a magic trick. Boxing Telescopes? Sure! Extendable Ears? Why not?
Remember in The Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry and the other classmates learned how to tame, then ride, the fierce gryphon-mare hybrid? With the Flight of the Hippogriff rollercoaster, you can get all the thrill of the flight, without fear of attack.
Or for a tamer ride, check out the neighboring high-speed Dragon Challenge coaster, with two “dueling” cars. Try to keep your eyes open and see if you can spot the many elements featured in The Goblet of Fire’s Triwizard Tournament.
Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head will serve traditional British cuisine—you can even order yourself up a big glass of Butterbeer. (Don’t worry; it’s non-alcoholic, unless you’re Winky, the easily inebriated house elf.)
And of course, what would The Wizarding World of Harry Potter be if it didn’t include the most iconic building in the entire series: Hogwarts castle. The attraction there, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, will allow visitors to wander through rooms easily recognizable from the films. While details are sparse, the park guarantees new technology that will “bring the magic, characters, and stories of Harry Potter to life.”
So come next spring, don your wizard robes and grab your wands—but please, for the love of all that is good and right in this world, only if you’re under the age of 13—and let your wizard training begin!
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor at Travel + Leisure.
Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Universal Studios